Kaysha Herd

Document Type

Honors Thesis


Research shows one probable source of body dissatisfaction is the thin ideal prevalent in media images (Hargreaves & Tiggemann, 2004). This bombardment of thin images can lead individuals to internalize the thin ideal, possibly leading to body dissatisfaction, poorer life satisfaction, and/or irregular eating behaviors. The focal hypothesis investigated if women's internalization of the thin ideal affects their body satisfaction, even when warning labels were present on advertisements. Secondly, it examined if body satisfaction varies among different ethnicities. Participants were 150 female undergraduates randomly assigned to one of four conditions: (1) control, (2) thin ideal, (3) thin ideal with subtle warning, or (4) thin ideal with blatant warning. Participants in the control and blatant warning condition reported less body dissatisfaction than participants in the thin ideal and subtle warning condition. Moreover, participants in the thin ideal condition were reporting a negative overall self-esteem, significantly high levels of body dissatisfaction and feeling of disgust with self. Finally, white participants in the thin ideal condition were reporting higher levels of body dissatisfaction than other ethnicities. These results suggest that media may influence women's body satisfaction, especially for Whites. More importantly, warnings seem to buffer against the negative effects of the media images on body satisfaction.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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